India's Anti-Corruption Movement

From Wall Street to Tahrir Square, discontent with financial and political elites is a growing global phenomenon. In India, a mass anti-corruption campaign that has mobilized millions and unnerved the government is being led by an improbable Gandhi-esque figure named Anna Hazare.

Hazare’s hunger strikes dominate the political conversation in the world's most populous democracy; his brief imprisonment earlier this year outraged the nation. In October, the Pulitzer Center’s Jon Sawyer and Kem Knapp Sawyer travelled to his hometown, the Maharashtra farming village of Ralegan Siddhi, to meet with this former soldier and to see how his application of Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence and self-reliance have transformed at least one community.

“Whether Hazare’s achievements in one small village can be applied to a nation as vast and diverse as India is very much in debate,” they write. “So is the idea that Mohandas Gandhi, the founding father of India who is most often honored in the breach, can find new footing in today’s India of breathless urbanization, industrialization and globalization. What is remarkable about Anna Hazare is that this most unlikely of leaders has made those questions real, for India and for the world.”

Egyptian Elections Commence

Tahrir Square was again much on our minds and in the news this week as Egyptians went to the polls for the first time since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Pulitzer Center grantees Sharif Abdel Kouddous, reporting for Democracy Now! and The Nation, and Ty McCormick, for Fox News and Untold Stories, talk with Egyptians about their hopes and fears and frustrations as it becomes increasingly clear that the country’s generals will not easily surrender their grip on power. The Arab Spring is far from finished, and we will continue to dig deep on this critical story.

Due to an error by the editor (me), an earlier edition of our newsletter mistakenly said that Jon Sawyer and Kem Knapp Sawyer spoke with novelist Arundhati Roy for their report on anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare. As the article by Jon and Kem makes clear, Roy’s comments are not from an interview, but rather from an article she wrote for The Hindu newspaper.

Until next week,

Tom Hundley
Senior Editor

Project

Anna Hazare speaks with supporters in Ralegan Siddhi in India.
Anna Hazare, inspired by Gandhi, transformed a village—Ralegan Siddhi, his hometown. Now, 74 years old, he wants to rid his country of corruption using the same tactics of non-violent resistance.

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